Medical Coder

If you have an interest in the medical field and like working independently, a position as a Medical Coder may be a good fit for you. Medical Coders take medical procedures, services, equipment, and diagnoses and translate them into universal medical codes. Medical Coders are responsible for coding the services patients receive and turning that information into a claim to be processed by insurance companies for payment. Hospitals, clinics, and doctor’s offices all employ Medical Coders.

A Medical Coder should know the ICD (International Classification of Diseases) and CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) codes, as well as government and insurance regulations regarding how those codes are sequenced in claims. Medical Coders must also have excellent verbal communication skills, as they will often have to follow up with health care providers if there is insufficient or unclear documentation. Since Medical Coders usually work independently, the ability to be a self-starter is also essential.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities

  • Comply with all legal requirements regarding coding procedures and practices
  • Conduct audits and coding reviews to ensure all documentation is accurate and precise
  • Assign and sequence all codes for services rendered
  • Collaborate with the billing department to ensure all bills are satisfied on time
  • Communicate with insurance companies about coding errors and disputes
  • Submit statistical data for analysis and research by other departments
  • Contact physicians and other health care professionals with questions about treatments or diagnostic tests given to patients regarding coding procedures

Education and Background

This position requires a high school diploma or the equivalent. However, a bachelor’s degree is preferred.

Some employers also prefer candidates to have professional certification, such as the one offered by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).

Skills and Competencies

  • Close attention to detail
  • Working knowledge of medical terms and human anatomy
  • Solid verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent typing skills, with both speed and accuracy
  • Familiarity with ICD-10 codes and procedures
  • Self-starter, able to work independently

Compensation

According to Payscale the median annual salary of a Medical Coder with

1 year of experience:

  • Orlando, Florida: $35,000
  • Tampa, Florida: $40,000
  • Jacksonville, Florida: $37,000
  • Miami, Florida: $42,000
  • Atlanta, Georgia: $38,000
  • Chicago, Illinois: $38,000
  • Houston, Texas: $40,000
  • Los Angeles, California: $46,000
  • New York, New York: $44,000
  • Seattle, Washington: $46,000
  • Overall: $41,000

5 years of experience:

  • Orlando, Florida: $47,000
  • Tampa, Florida: $47,000
  • Jacksonville, Florida: $48,000
  • Miami, Florida: $52,000
  • Atlanta, Georgia: $52,000
  • Chicago, Illinois: $49,000
  • Houston, Texas: $51,000
  • Los Angeles, California: $53,000
  • New York, New York: $52,000
  • Seattle, Washington: $56,000
  • Overall: $52,000

Similar Job Titles

  • Medical Records Coordinator
  • Coder
  • Medical Coding Specialist
  • Medical Billing Specialist
  • Medical Records Technician
  • Health Information Specialist
  • Medical Records Clerk
  • Health Information Clerk
  • Medical Records Analyst
  • Health Information Technician
  • Medical Billing Manager
  • Medical Records Director

Career Path

Medical Coder positions require at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. Some companies prefer candidates to have an associate or a bachelor’s degree, with some coursework or work experience in human anatomy, physiology, or other medical disciplines.

In some cases, candidates who have already obtained professional certification in coding, like the one offered by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), are more attractive to employers.

Position Trends

The medical field is always evolving, including the systems in which Medical Coders operate. That means aspiring Medical Coders need to stay on top of trends in the field. According to an article in Forbes magazine, one trend in the Medical Coding field in the next few years is the increasing complexity and number of medical codes. The World Health Organization is expected to release the next update to the international medical coding standard in the next few years.

Another trend to watch for in medical coding is the increased use of artificial intelligence (AI) in coding. Some AI programs can now scan the text of a patient’s chart and suggest appropriate codes to Medical Coders to speed up the coding process. It’s still a new technology, but some coders say it helps make coding more efficient.

Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the medical records and health information technicians field is expected to grow by 11 percent from 2018 to 2028. That’s much faster than average.

Typical Work Hours

Many Medical Coders work 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday in an office setting. However, some who work in companies that operate 24 hours a day could work other shifts.

Other Medical Coders may work from home and set their own hours.

Where You Can Find Jobs

 

Are You Interested in Becoming a Medical Coder?

Here at 4 Corner Resources, we will connect you to one of our headhunters or recruiters to see if you are a perfect fit for one of our job openings. If a job opening does not suit you, we will always keep you in mind as new positions open up. We have vast experience connecting professionals with some of the most well-known organizations in the country. Your next job or career path can be right around the corner. Check out our latest open positions and our blog for career advice. Feel free to contact us at any time.